Vietnam a focus of Russia's "pivot to the East" policy: expert

Saturday, 2021-12-04 16:59:34
 Font Size:     |        Print
 

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (left) shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Photo: VNA)
 Font Size:     |  

NDO/VNA - The Vietnam-Russia relationship and the significance of Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit to Russia from November 29 to December 2 were spotlighted in an article published on Russia’s Independent newspaper.

The article by Grigory Lokshin, an expert from the Centre for Vietnam and ASEAN Studies under the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Far Eastern Studies, said Russia is one of the destinations on the first foreign trip of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, which reflects the importance of the Russia-Vietnam relationship.

It noted that when he was Prime Minister of Vietnam, Phuc also visited Russia in 2019 and the visit had achieved great success with the signing of a series of agreements to promote bilateral cooperation in many fields including economy, trade, security, and defence, it said.

The article stressed that collaboration with Vietnam has long been an important orientation in Russia's "pivot to the East" policy and has become increasingly relevant given the current international situation. This orientation is not intended to replace Russia's main partner in Asia, but to diversify Russia's economic and trade relations with the east.

According to the article, Russia-Vietnam relations are based on equality and mutual respect, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, mutual trust in politics and the military. This is a “strategic” relationship because it is built for the long term, it said, adding that the relationship not only is defined by understanding and good memories of the past, but also suits mutual interests. Over the years, the two countries have established an active political contact and dialogue mechanism at all levels, creating a solid foundation for bilateral political cooperation.

Regarding economic-trade cooperation between Russia and Vietnam, the author said that the current scale of economic-trade relations between the two countries is still not commensurate with the level of political relations and the available potential. Russia's senior leaders have repeatedly mentioned Vietnam's potential as an economic and strategic partner, and Russia's foreign policy is also developed in this direction.

However, due to the geographical distance and the poor transport infrastructure connection, the economic and trade relations between the two countries are still limited.

To create a new impetus for this relationship, Lokshin suggested that Russia should first pay attention to developing sea transport to connect ports in Russia's Far East region with Vietnam. He also recommended that the two sides need to develop a direct communication channel between businesses of the two countries and other contacts through non-government organisations and the scientific community to contribute to promoting cooperation between the two nations.